A good way to figure out how much of the end of a stalk of asparagus needs to be removed is to simply hold the stalk by the bottom, and about halfway up the stem, with both hands, and bend it. The stalk will snap right where the tough part begins, leaving you a tender stalk of asparagus for the rest. Simply discard the bottom and cook as above.

Mmmm, tasty. Of course asparagus makes some people's urine smell funny.